Jaguar Land Rover is not for sale, owners Tata have insisted – despite bailout funding talks with the UK government falling through.
It was reported at the weekend that the car manufacturer had ended talks with the Treasury over emergency funding worth billions of pounds.
It was believed JLR was one of several high profile firms in talks with the government under a plan dubbed ‘Project Birch’ which would see the government take a stake in firms in exchange for funding.
However, newspaper reports said that talks with both JLR and parent company Tata, which needed cash for its Port Talbot Tata Steel plant too, ended when the Treasury deemed the wider business to have enough cash to fund the firms rather than the taxpayer.
Now, Tata Motors has been forced to deny rumours that the British car manufacturer is up for sale.
The Times reports Tata Motors said it ‘categorically denies and dismisses any such intent’ and stood by the brand.
It told the paper: ‘Unconfirmed and unsubstantiated reports have been published alleging that Tata Motors may sell a stake in Jaguar Land Rover. It is and remains a key pillar of Tata Motors and the wider group.’
Previously, there have been reports a larger manufacturer such as PSA could be interested in acquiring JLR.
The French firm – which bought Vauxhall and is merging with FCA – does not have a successful premium brand in its armoury.
Car Dealer previously reported the two companies had been engaged in advanced talks about how to integrate the two brands. Leaked documents suggested a sale was in advanced stages, but it was denied by both firms and fizzled out.
It is believed JLR had been seeking up to £2bn on tax payer cash to help it deal with the pandemic.
Sales have plummeted and its factories mothballed during the lockdown while most of its 30,000 UK workers were placed on furlough.
JLR was even grappling with losses before the pandemic took hold as sales in key market like China took a nose dive.
The lockdown cost the manufacturer £1.1bn and recently posted a loss for the second quarter of £413m as retail car sales for its brands fell 42.4 per cent.
Last year, it made 500,000 vehicles in the UK and it will soon see a changing of the guard in the boardroom.
Former Renault exec Thierry Bollore – ousted from his post at the French firm – will take over as chief executive from Sir Ralf Speth who become non-executive vice chairman.
And on Monday, Jaguar Land Rover and partners Sytner opened the doors to Guy Salmon South West London – the first ‘Statement Site’ in the UK.
The 17,000 sq m dealership in Sunbury-on-Thames took two years to make and houses more than 130 new and used cars.
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